2017 ended in a bit of a whirlwind with the book launch, holiday and birthday celebrations, and a houseful of young adults visiting from far away. During the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, our days lacked structure to the degree I often lost track of what day of the week it was. In addition to lots of family and pajama time, I also conquered a mystery puzzle game on my phone called The Room. It was glorious, but now I am ready to get back to work! It is time to fine-tune my priorities for the year, set some goals, first things first.
An unexpected snow day this morning cancelled my morning plans, so the elderly Bichon, Dobby and I are snuggled up by the fire dreaming about 2018. Several years ago, I gave up making new year’s resolutions, but I still find value in marking the change on my calendar by evaluating where I am, where I want to go and how I will get there. Who do I want to be this year and what do I want to do? What practices from 2017 will I keep, and what changes do I need to make? For the last couple of years, I have jumped on the one word bandwagon as a way of answering these questions and establishing a structure to return to as a touchstone throughout the year.
Previous Year’s Words
In 2016, my word was BRAVE. In fact, I wrote a book about the word brave in 2016 (yes, it takes a long time to get a book from the author’s hands into the reader’s hands.)
In 2017, my word was WONDER. As I completed my coaching certification and grew my coaching business, I celebrated and embraced learning, curiosity and discovery in myself and in my amazingly inspirational clients.
One Word for 2018
This year, my word is FIRST. As in, first things first, back to basics, eye on the ball, pick a lane and stay in it. Seek first the things that matter most. Seek first those things which draw me closer to the heart of God. Because playing with words is my favorite, I also find the acronym F.I.R.S.T. appealing:
F is for Focus. This year, I want to more consistently be present in each moment, focused on the person or activity in front of me. I have written before about my addiction to my phone and my restless energy towards moving on to the next thing. This year, I want to savor the present. I want to be here now. Seek first the Kingdom…
I is for Intention. Are my feet walking my heart’s path? Am I choosing to spend my time in activities that reflect the things I say are important? Am I choosing to spend my time in activities that reflect the things I say are important? Click To Tweet If I’m not, what new habits do I need to develop to support me in living in closer alignment with my values? This year, I want to show up in every area of my life with intention; physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, relational and vocational. Seek first the Kingdom…
R is for doing the next Right thing. I am in charge of the process, God is in charge of the results. I am called to do the next right thing with excellence. I work like it is all up to me and pray like it is all up to God, trusting that God will use my efforts to fulfill His Kingdom goals, not mine. In terms of my work, that means I show up with my whole heart and let people know about my book, my retreats, and my coaching business, but I let God worry about how many readers, attendees and clients ultimately connect with the Being Brave message. Seek first the Kingdom…
S is for Simplicity. I almost chose the word Simplicity as my word for 2018. For most of my life, I have been wrestling with managing my stuff. The piles of mail, the accumulation of memorabilia, the book I might read again someday are beginning to feel burdensome. I currently have 18,749 messages in my email Inbox. Since my youngest left for college (she graduates in May,) I have been threatening to do a major purge to get control of this house. I say it is important to me to simplify our life and get rid of clutter (see the description of Intention above,) yet I dread tackling what feels like an overwhelming task. Applying the things I am learning about goal setting and doing the next right thing, this year I want to simplify our life by taking tiny steps forward on a regular basis. Seek first the Kingdom…
T is for Tender-Hearted. This one was a bit of a surprise for me when God and I were playing with the letters of the word FIRST, but I’m beginning to think this is the most important one of all. For me, living tender-hearted involves keeping a wide-open connection between my Creator Abba Father and the human beings with whom I am traveling this journey. Despite my extroverted nature, I can easily shut down this tender-hearted part of myself and live at a safe distance, eschewing deeper connection in favor of surface interactions that don’t require vulnerability. I am much more likely to stumble, say something stupid, make a fool of myself, get my heart broken, or be rejected if I risk opening my heart. However, at this point in my life, I am 100% certain that tender-hearted living and vulnerable, authentic connection is worth the risks. Living tender-hearted reminds me of why I do what I do: like Jesus said, it’s all about love. Seek first the Kingdom…
Focus. Intention. Do the next Right thing. Simplicity. Live Tender-Hearted.
Seek first those things which draw me and the world closer to living in the Kingdom. First Things First. Let’s go!
If you chose a word for 2018, I would love to hear it in the comments. What word did you choose and what does it mean to you?
With a number of new people joining us here at the blog because of my devotional book, Being Brave, you will notice many more hyperlinks in my posts going forward. This is an opportunity for readers, new and old, to go back and read related posts. There are over 400 posts on this blog, so hopefully this will give some direction to new friends who might want to sample some of my musings through the years.
I chose the word FAVOR or it chose me through being led to it by various bible verses. The key verse is Ezekiel 36:9
“I am concerned for you and will look on you with favor.”
The reason why is because it’s time I believe I am worth being blessed by God and not only believing it for others. It is time I truly believe in my heart God loves me! Blessings on your new year.
Kelly Johnson says
Ooooh! I love the word favor! Here is another verse for you that I think fits in beautifully with this word favor, Zephaniah 3:17. “The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” I love the picture of God delighting in us and singing over us. We are daughters of the King! Blessings on your new year as well, Jeannie.
Imagine is my word this year! I want to imagine more this year! But I know and trust that God can do immeasurably more than I can imagine!
Thanks for sharing your talents and words!
Kelly Johnson says
Another great word! Just imagine what God has in store for you this year. I love The Message version of the verse you referenced, Ephesians 3:20: “God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.” Blessing to you, Lori, and thanks for the encouragement!
Linda Willen says
My word is Sustain. I lost my Dad right before Christmas and God has faithfully sustained me through these difficult days. I love these two scriptures: Isaiah 46:4 which talks about God sustaining us.
” Even to your old age and gray hairs
I am he, I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
New International Version (NIV)
And from Hebrews: Since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house,So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you!Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised. ” Hebrews 10:25, 35-36. NLT Patient endurance is allowing God’s healing as I grieve. He will sustain me through patient endurance.
Kellie Johnson says
My word is PRESENT. The challenge for me in 2018 is to be more physically present in peoples’ lives. Less texting, messaging and even phoning. More showing up, “let’s get together” and “come on over!”. Jesus was present. He was busy, but he was always where He was needed. The digital age comes with some great opportunities in which I use as a writer, but they are no replacement for the comfort and assurance that physical presence can bring. With my focus shifting slightly to become more present, I am anticipating some choices that will need to be made, even some hard ones. But, I know that the Lord has been preparing me for several weeks leading up to the new year and I’m excited to see what He has in store for it all!